Pinkenba State School is a rare surviving example of an 1870s school. On land donated for the purpose by Thomas McBride, a
pioneer farmer in the area, the school was deemed necessary for the area by the Department of Public Instruction due to the increase in population coupled with new Queensland legislation for compulsory education for children.
Although the original building has been extended it still retains its original core. Set amongst an avenue of well established trees and extensive playground the school reflects the community’s development in the late nineteenth century. Memorial gates a reflection of the community's commemoration.
First known as Boggy Creek the Pinkenba area came about as a result of the expansion of the European settlers in the early nineteenth century. The Eagle Farm area was predominately a farming area in the late nineteenth century. However, from as early as the 1860s the Pinkenba area was progressively used for small farming. As a result of the Queensland Government’s mmigration initiatives, those immigrants moving out to the Pinkenba area were predominately of German origin and established small farming lots on which a variety of produce was grown including grapes, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages and cauliflowers.
By 1874 there were twenty-two families living in the Pinkenba area. As a reflection of the growth in population in this area the Pinkenba School was established. In 1875 the Queensland Government passed the Education Act deeming education for children between the ages of six and eleven compulsory, free and secular.
In 1897 the Eagle Farm railway line was extended to Pinkenba due to the growing population and the demand from industry. The Pinkenba wharf was extended in 1898. The infrastructure developments were coupled with the opening up of the mouth of the Brisbane River through dredging, allowing a greater capacity for large ships to enter the Pinkenba reach of the river.
By the turn of the century Pinkenba consisted of a small community of workers cottages, a school, a hall, a post office, six shops, several guest houses and a hotel. The police station was built in 1901.
In 1899 the Pinkenba Wharf saw the first Brisbane contingent of troops leave for the Boer War in South Africa. It subsequently became the main departure point for troop ships leaving for this conflict. With the onslaught of the First World War, Pinkenba Wharf was Brisbane’s main departure point for troops and equipment leaving to serve in the conflict.
The Second World War saw an unprecedented volume of traffic and industry utilising the wharf. Pinkenba Wharf played a major role in the war effort in this period. A United States Military depot was established on the wharf for the loading of vast amounts of ammunition onto military vessels destined for the conflict in the Pacific. This depot employed many local Pinkenba farmers and workers throughout the war.
The school was central to this wartime activity. The school community built an air-raid shelter and Memorial Gate at the entrance to the school commemorating all the Pinkenba residents who served.
(Source BCC Heritage)